Financial advisors, or planners, are not only for the rich and famous anymore. Financial planners are accessible to everyone and can help prepare you for retirement as well as help you through other life events, like marriage or divorce. An efficient planner can analyze your finances and create a new financial plan. They can also check to see if you’re paying too much in fees for investments, saving enough for retirement, and paying out too much in taxes throughout the year.
Before hiring a financial advisor, you should know where to find a certified planner, how to choose one, and learn about the different ways financial planners are paid.
Jacksonville and the surrounding areas offer dozens of certified financial planners (CFPs) to help you get your finances on track.
When it comes to saving enough money for retirement and using the services of a financial planner, it is best to start as soon as possible. A financial planner will review your portfolio and risk level to make recommendations that will benefit your financial goals. They can also see where you may be paying out too much money that can be reinvested into something with more value.
You can use a few different resources to locate and research financial advisors in the Jacksonville area. You will want to search for advisors that are certified.
The CFP Board of Standards features a database of CFPs across the country.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) for Northeast Florida and The Southeast
Atlantic lists 12 financial advisor organizations within 100 miles of Jacksonville.
The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) hosts a database of “fee-only” financial advisors that you can search by name or location.
When it comes to choosing a financial advisor, you will want to interview each prospective planner. You can search for each CFP on the CFP Board’s site and review their credentials, certification status, and any disciplinary actions by the Board. Contact the references the advisor gives you to confirm the advisor’s background.
Make sure you have the advisor or firm explain to you how the advisor is paid. Most CFPs are paid in one of three ways: fee only, commission only, or a combination of fees and commissions. The CFPs that charge only fees typically charge an annual percentage of your holdings based on the portfolio’s performance.
CFPs that receive commissions can be more complicated as they receive money for the investment products they sell you. Make sure that the commission based CFP is a fiduciary to ensure your best interests are always represented (and not the CFP’s monetary goal).
Financial planners that work on both fee and commission based methods usually provide their clients with full-service treatment. This could mean money management as well as investment portfolio management. You will want to choose a CFP with your best interests in mind to help you reach your financial goals.
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